Peter P. Pachl schreibt was über HOLOFERNES in der NMZ

Hier einige Ausschnitte aus der Kritik

31.05.16 (Peter P. Pachl)

–Rezniceks „Holofernes“ in Bonn

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Die mit allerlei irritierenden, teils gezeichneten,(…) Video-Projektionen aufwartende Inszenierung stellt denn bereits auf dem Hauptvorhang die Frage „Judith und Holofernes? / Holofernes und Judith?“ und weist mit einem Herzchen darauf hin, dass sich Judith heftig in ihren Gegenspieler verlieben wird. Um so drastischer fällt der Mord an dem vom Beischlaf erschöpften aus, (…) wobei fontänenartig so viel Blut spritzt, wie es sonst selten auf der Opernbühne zu erleben ist.

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Dass sich Judith am Ende selbst in ihre Waffe stürzt um nicht womöglich dem Holofernes einen Sohn zu gebären (…)

 

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Das Inszenierungsteam hat sich viel einfallen lassen. Gezeichnete Videos, ein Markenzeichen des Regisseurs Regisseur Jürgen R. Weber, sorgen für Ironisierung und Verunsicherung. Brechungen erfolgen durch heutige, auch gerne flapsige Zeichensprache der Protagonisten und des Chores. Grobschlächtig und irritierend der Bühnenraum von Hank Irwin Kittel: ein Tor aus blutigen Knochen der Erschlagenen führt aus dem Lager der Hebräer in den Zuschauerraum. Die lastende, schwebende Zukunft der Hebräer signalisieren gigantische, luft- und LED-gefüllte Wurstschläuche.

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Auf der Kehrseite dieser Versuchsanordnung, dem Lager des Holofernes, sind auf hohen Stangen Leichen aufgepflanzt. Ein Turm lässt sich auf zwei Seiten durch Zugbrücken öffnen, und deren eine überbrückt dann den Orchestergraben.

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(…)

Jacques Lacombe, ab der kommenden Spielzeit neuer GMD an der Oper Bonn, akzentuiert mit dem prachtvoll disponierten Beethoven Orchester klar und prägnant die bisweilen spröde, am Ende aber doch hymnisch strahlende, mit Ganztonskalen durchsetzte Partitur. (…)

(…) Holfernes gestaltet Mark Morouse eindrucksstark, mit souveräner Stimmführung in exponierten Lagen.

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Ein Glücksfall ist (…) Johanni van Oostrum als Judith: schlank, mit müheloser Höhe, textverständlich bei hochdramatischer Expression, überzeugt sie gleichermaßen stimmlich und darstellerisch – sogar beim Table Dance an der Stange und in der Beherrschung diverser Kampfsportarten, die sie gewinnbringend einsetzt.

Als Dienerin Abra steht ihr in Ceri Williams eine Altistin mit klangvoller Stimmentfaltung und groteskem Spiel zur Seite.

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Die Partie der die Wollust besingenden „weibliche[n] Stimme“ ist besetzt mit Nina Unden und hier personifiziert als lesbische Gespielin der exquisiten Tänzerin Karioca.

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Johannes Mertes, Jonghoon You, Nichaolas Probst und Sven Bakin als Hauptleute, Martin Tzonev als Gesandter, Eduard Katz, Josef Michael Linnek als hebräische Bürger und Egbert Herold als Trabant bilden ein homogen rollendeckendes Ensemble, aus dem der Bassist Daniel Pannermayr in der Partie des Oberpriesters Osias herausragt.

(…)

Da sich eine Opernpartitur jedoch live auf der Bühne zu bewähren hat, sei der Besuch in Bonn dringend empfohlen – wer weiß, wann sich die nächste Möglichkeit ergibt, diese Oper in einem Opernhaus zu erleben.

HIER DIE VOLLSTÄNDIGE KRITIK

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Johanni van Oostrum is answering some annoying questions

Your favorite Computer or Mobile game?

Age of Empires II: The Conquerors

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Your favorite movie?

Like Water for Chocolate


Your favorite Band?

Susanne Vega, Queen, Fleetwood Mac

Most intersting person you have ever met in persona?

My Grandfather

Your favorite sport? Gymnastics

Your favorite TV-show?

Dexter and

Twin Peaks

Your favorite author (prose)?

Emily Dickinson

Your favorite person in History?

Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie

Your favorite Superhero?

Kathy Kane/Batwoman

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Your favorite character on the opera-stage?

Emilia Marty in The Makropulos Affair

If your life would be an opera, which composer would you wish for the future?

Franz Schreker

How do you want to die?

Surprise me

REZNICEK : Polyglot

by

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Jacques Lacombe


Just like most musicians I suppose, when I started to work on the score of Holofernes by Emil Nikolaus von

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REZNICEK, to be totally honest, I knew very little about his music other than his opera Donna Diana.

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What I discover was an incredibly talented and imaginative composer who seems at home using so many different languages, styles and composition techniques. With such a wide pallet of expressions, he uses and mixes all these elements in a very personal way, with a clear intention to adapt each musical moment to the needs of the drama on stage, regardless of the contrast of the different esthetics involved. Because of Reznicek’s great sense for theater, he didn’t seem to fear at all to go back and forth (sometimes with absolutely no transition or “warning”) between stylistically extremely contrasting elements that could be as far apart as the twelve-tone scale and the pure tonic/dominant relationship of a simple major key. A very good demonstration of that is found in the introduction to Judith’s first aria where her inner troubles are expressed by a very unstable “almost perfect” twelve-tone series that could have been written by Schoenberg, but only to lend in the most surprising way on a pure D major chord on the word “Gott”. This already gives us a hint on Reznicek choices throughout the piece.

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Tonal music in this work, generally in a major key refers to the idea of the divine and also to the concept of redemption through God. The hymn at the end of Act 1 is a good example as well as the music following Judith’s suicide at the very end of the opera, which could seem at first surprisingly peaceful for such a dramatic situation. It is true that Reznicek doesn’t waste any time in telling us this story (she’s dead, rest in peace… all of that in less than 12 bars!!!). In both cased, the sudden appearance of a perfectly tonal musical moment gives an impression of purity and total release of any sort of harmonic tensions that have been build up to this point. This is the main idea/principle inspiring Reznicek both musically and dramatically for his entire opera.

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On the other end of the spectrum, the hard and merciless personality of Holofernes is described by the use of a scale where there is no tonal pole or harmonic attraction and where all relationships between each note of the scale are equal: the whole-tone scale. There is no negotiation possible here!!! This leads, among other things, to one of the most original “drinking song” ever written in the middle of the second act.

One of the main themes of the opera is the seduction and the feminine beauty, which is better expressed by a more chromatic context that will not only be used for Judith’s music but also in Holofernes aria at the beginning of Act 2 where he speaks about his own “not so beloved” mother.

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Reznicek was not only a master of so many different musical languages but also had an admirable understanding of the orchestra. There are so many passages in his opera where he manages to create some incredible and beautiful atmospheres with his personal choices of instrumental combinations. One of the best example of that is found in the middle of the Act 2 “Tanz nummer” where the role described in the score as “a female voice” sings an arietta accompanied in Bb minor by the harp, cymbals and some melodic comments from woodwinds and, in a totally different key, some punctuated chords from the strings playing harmonics doubled by the celesta. This creates an amazing mysterious effect using bitonality.

When listening to this opera for the first time, one can have an impression of listening to a work written in many different languages, each one being linked to a specific character, an idea, an emotion or a situation. In that sense, Reznicek’s music makes me think a little bit of the music of Janacek. In both cases, very often the structure of a piece seems to be made of blocks, which at first sight don’t seem to belong together. But the very juxtaposition of these different blocks is totally part of the expression of these two composers.

In Holofernes, Reznicek tells the story based on Hebbel in a very effective and “forward” way. Where Wagner would have taken thirty minutes to express and describe a situation, Reznicek takes thirty seconds. This amplifies the surprises created at first by so many contrasting elements throughout this work and gives us a 85 minute opera that takes you through an incredibly concise, rich and varied musical and theatrical experience.

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I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we enjoyed working on it!!!

Jacques Lacombe